Well, the year in music has gone and yet another Grammy Awards season has passed by. The 55th Annual Grammy Awards was hosted last Sunday at the Staples Center. The 3-hour program consisted of glamorous celebrities, crazy music performances, and anxious excitement on who will win what. It’s pretty much like most Grammy shows, but this year had one of the most intense award competitions within the four major categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.
R&B crooner Frank Ocean was expected to take home all six of his nominations, which included his critically acclaimed summer smash hit Channel Orange for Album of the Year, his chart-topping love ballad, “Thinkin Bout You” for Record of the Year, and for Best New Artist. But, boy, did we have it wrong. Ocean only won two of his six Grammys (He won Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Rap Collaboration). He unfortunately lost to the folk rock group Mumford & Sons and their sophomore effort Babel for Album of the Year, chart-topping indie duo Gotye & Kimbra and their used-to-be-charming-now-obnoxious “Somebody I Used to Know” for Record of the Year; and the hyperactive indie rock band Fun., for Best New Artist. Other winners at the Grammys included Adele, Skrillex, Usher, Beyoncé, Jay-Z & Kanye West, Drake, and many more.
Ocean and the winners of the major categories and were also up against a fierce collective of music artists, which included The Black Keys, Jack White, Taylor Swift, Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, Kelly Clarkson, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Some of these artists, including Ocean, Fun., Mumford & Sons, Gotye, and Kimbra, performed during the Grammys. Ocean sang his soulful ballad “Forrest Gump” in an understated yet mesmerizing performance. Jack White also blew away the audience with two of his head-banging rock anthems “Love Interruption” and “Freedom at 21.” The Black Keys crooned alongside Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with their infectious groove “Lonely Boy.” Unprecedented R&B artist Miguel performed his compelling Song of the Year nomination “Adorn” with rapper Wiz Khalifa. However, some Grammy performances fell flat, such as Taylor Swift’s tasteless and cheesy performance of “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (we get it Taylor, jeeze, stop overdoing it!) and Rihanna’s dull rendition of her Unapologetic track “Stay” with music producer Mikky Ekko. Even so, the performances never wavered when Damian and Ziggy Marley gave a lively tribute to their late great father Bob Marley, alongside Bruno Mars, Sting, and Rihanna. Another tribute was also given to the late Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch.
This year’s Grammys wasn’t anything special. But we got to experience some exhilarating performances, finger biting award winner announcements, and a few comebacks, including R&B-pop star Justin Timberlake’s return to music from a 7-year hiatus. He sang his first single, “Suit & Tie” with rapper Jay-Z, off his upcoming record The 20/20 Experience, coming out March 20th. I guess you could say that the Grammys reminds us every year about the excitement and mesmerizing effect of music and how intrigued we are by the art and development of music. Hopefully, the Grammys will help us look forward to this exciting year in music.
You can check out the list of awards and nominations here.